73-year-old man Richard Basaraba who just wanted to pay my rent has been temporarily banned from Volusia County beaches. Police stopped him for soliciting, as he was handing out business cards reading “Sugardaddy seeking his sugarbaby,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. He is “devastated.”
Basaraba was reported to the police, according to the News-Journal, by a mother and her 16-year-old daughter, to whom he’d given one of his cards reading “Ask me about your monthly allowance.” This was his creepy and fatal error:
“The teenager told officers that after Basaraba learned the girls’ ages, he held up a bra pad and said he was looking for someone to fill it. He told the 16-year-old she “would be perfect,” adding that she should contact him when she turned 18, the report states.”
Basaraba says the whole thing was a “misunderstanding.” “I am so embarrassed,” he told the News-Journal. “I’m still getting over it. I understand the mother getting upset.”
He likes to wear a T-shirt with a photo of a young girl sitting on the knee of an older man, reading “ACCEPTING APPLICATION 4A SUGAR BABY,” which he describes as a “conversation starter” because it helps him get likes on Facebook (he never gets Facebook likes). What follows is either the ballad of the local sex offender or The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, a lone man wandering the world in the butt-ends of his days:
On a recent beach walk, he found a bra pad, which he keeps in a basket on a living room shelf. “It gave me an excuse to talk to women,” Basaraba said.
“I would go up to a group of women of all ages — 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s — (and say), ‘Honey, I’m looking for my Cinderella. I did not find a glass slipper on the beach but I did find this.’”
He confirms that he did say “You’re the cutest one here. Call me when you’re 18,” but he says he didn’t mean it.
“I read in the paper about men who have sex with underage women and their life is gone,” he said. “I can show you my bank account. I don’t have any assets. I don’t have money, just enough to live. I don’t have money for a sugar baby.”
Basaraba, a retired engineer with a daughter and granddaughter who live out of town, said his wife of 37 years passed away in 2003 and he hasn’t remarried.
He hasn’t been arrested, but he threw away his business cards and everything. Now he’s out there somewhere, without any Facebook likes, just a worn-out bra pad and no one to fill it, searching for humanity for companionship and hopefully finding a silly hat or a dog or something.